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Italy convicts ex-Nazi in ’43 slayings

MILAN — Italy’s military tribunal on Friday convicted a 90-year-old ex-Nazi in absentia for his role in the 1943 execution of 120 Italian officers on a Greek island, Kefalonia, and sentenced him to life in prison.

Alfred Stork’s conviction was the first in Italy for the Kefalonia massacres, in which nearly 4,000 Italian soldiers were killed in September 1943. Past attempts at prosecution were closed because the defendants had died or those responsible could not be properly identified, military prosecutor Marco De Paolis said.

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Stork, who now lives in Germany, was tried as a member of an execution squad that killed the 120 Italian officers as part of the weeklong massacre, De Paolis said.

The Italian troops were occupying Greece with their German allies, but found themselves in enemy territory, and under attack, after Italy signed an armistice with the Allies following the fall of fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

De Paolis said he launched this investigation in 2009 at the request of two victims’ children, and identified Stork after receiving files from a failed attempt at prosecuting 80 suspects a decade ago.

De Paolis said he felt it was ‘‘useless’’ to petition for Stork’s extradition for trial since Germany has refused to turn over its citizens even when convicted of Nazi-era crimes.

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